Mabuza: SA must defeat Covid-19 as tribute to Mthembu

Mabuza: SA must defeat Covid-19 as tribute to Mthembu

Deputy President David Mabuza says defeating the coronavirus pandemic would be a fitting tribute to the late Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.


He delivered a moving tribute to Mthembu during a virtual memorial service on Monday.

Mthembu died of Covid-19 complications last week.

Various cabinet ministers and former colleagues gathered virtually to celebrate his life following his burial on Saturday.

Mabuza said Mthembu died while hoping the country  could defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We must all come together and place our shoulders to the wheel in the continued fight of preventing human mortality and morbidity, and play our part in curbing further spread of the virus, as well as support efforts to find scientific solutions to the current crisis.

“Jackson Mthembu played a critical leadership role in enhancing the coordination and integration of government efforts in the fight against the ravaging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including fostering partnerships with government’s social partners.

“Therefore, in honouring his life, it is incumbent upon all of us, from labour, business, academia, civil society, inter-faith and traditional institutions to come together in the fight to save lives and livelihoods, and finally defeat the pandemic.

“He left us with hope that this is possible,” Mabuza added.

The deputy president hailed Mthembu as part of a  generation that bestowed the country with liberty and freedom.

“In their wake, they leave us the gifts of liberty and freedom; in their commendable journey they leave us footprints of a well-fought struggle; and they take with them the well-deserved glories of reverence.

“It falls upon a special generation to dream of liberation and to achieve it, and for such freedom to be cherished. Minister Mthembu belonged to this eminent generation of freedom fighters, whose contribution to our freedom and democracy deserves to be cherished for generations.

“Minister Mthembu symbolises a generation of freedom fighters, who came of political age after June 1976, to leave us footprints of a well-fought struggle against apartheid and a well-trodden journey to build the foundations of democracy in South Africa.”

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola said Mthembu was in the forefront of government’s communication around Covid-19.

“For the 6th administration he digested and simplified scientific experts information on Covid-19 into simple and accessible language to everyone in SA.  This ability will be solely missed in government communication.

He had the skill of breaking complex and complicated discussions through humour.”

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